Recommendation ID

Diagnosing asthma in children and young people aged 5 to 16:- What is the acceptability and diagnostic accuracy of objective tests that could be used to comprise
a diagnostic pathway for asthma in children and young people aged 5 to 16 (for example, exercise challenge, direct bronchial challenge with histamine or methacholine, indirect bronchial challenge with mannitol and peripheral blood eosinophil count)?

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

Why this is important:- Asthma is a common condition, diagnosed in nearly 1 in 10 children. There are no validated and reliable objective criteria for diagnosing asthma, so the vast majority of asthma diagnoses are currently based on symptoms and signs. However, symptoms and signs consistent with a diagnosis of asthma are not specific to the condition and can be present in other illnesses. This diagnostic uncertainty results in many children being incorrectly diagnosed with asthma, and many children
with asthma in whom the diagnosis is delayed or missed. A single objective measure, or set of objective measures, that can be performed easily in non-specialist clinical settings (although it is noted that challenge tests need to be performed in specialist settings) will help improve diagnostic certainty and reduce the proportion of children treated inappropriately for asthma. This would ensure that children with the condition are identified and treated early.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Asthma: diagnosis, monitoring and chronic asthma management
Date issued
November 2017

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 30/11/2017